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KNO, NNPG sign historic pact on ‘resolving differences’

Published Jan 21, 2020
Updated Mar 02, 2020

In a significant move against the backdrop of peace parleys, for the first time, Kuki and Naga armed groups have come out openly to work together since the ethnic conflicts between the communities in the early 1990s.

The Working Committee (WC) of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) and the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) have signed a joint declaration to work together to resolve differences in the course of finding a political settlement with the Union of India.

The declaration was signed between the two sides after a meeting convened in Imphal on January 10.

In the declaration jointly signed by N Kitovi Zhimomi, convener NNPGs and PS Haokip, president KNO, it stated that a thorough deliberation and discussion on the contentious political, social and inter-community matters prevailing for decades, particularly in Manipur, the two sides agreed upon to “work together closely in resolving difference through democratic political process thereby the history and identity of one is respected and acknowledged by the other, now and in the future”.

The statement further said the two groups shall, from time to time, appraise each other on issue potentially having socio-political ramifications for one community or the other, during the course of political settlement and peace talks with the Union of India.

Seilen Haokip, spokesperson KNO, termed the development “foundation of peace” between the Kukis and the Nagas.

N Kitovi Zhimomi, was accompanied by Alezo Venuh, envoy to collective leadership GPRN/NSCN, C Singson, advisor to collective leadership GPRN/NSCN.

The KNO was represented by president PS Haokip, Seilen Haokip, spokesperson KNO, TS Haokip, defence secretary KNO, Dino KRA/KNO.

WC, NNPGs is an umbrella of seven Naga militant outfits who have been holding separate talks with the Centre since 2017. The NNPGs comprises of GPRN/NSCN, NSCN(R), NSCN (Khango), NNC (Parent body), FGN, NPGN/NNC (NA) and NNC GDRN (NA).

Although the groups’ initial demand is sovereignty and territorial integration of Nagas, it had announced that it was ready to sign a deal with the government of India, claiming that all issues have been touched during the several rounds of talks held.

Extension of a special provision under Article 371 (A) to all Naga-inhabited areas, Regional Territorial Council (RTC) for Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh among others are demands of the NNPGs. With regards to sovereignty and integration, the NNPGs had clarified that it will pursue it after the deal through the democratic process.

The KNO is one of the two umbrella bodies of 17 Kuki armed groups which is also currently holding peace talks with the government of India. The demand of the group is separate Territorial Council for Kukiland in Manipur.

After the formal meeting in Imphal, leaders of the NNPGs were hosted to a feast at the Churachandpur residence of KNO president.